Sunday, July 15, 2012

Playing with food.

Thank goodness for Pinterest and all of their fabulous rainy day activities, or as we say in this horrendous Indiana drought season, tonsillectomy-removal-low-key-activities.  Today was all about toothpick and marshmallow sculptures.

Nick and I started off by making the basic house shapes.  Then Blake joined in.

For inquiring minds, Blake is doing remarkably well.  Night 2 was a bit rough, but he's been a rock star of a patient and today even wanted to venture out for a Down Syndrome Indiana picnic.  What a trooper!

I think our creations are quite representative of our differences.  My sculpture/molecule/constellation in front shows my left brained ways.  It may also be reflective of some deep down, yet-to-be-discovered mathematical genius/analytical mind. 

 And Blake's sculpture shows his right brained creativity and imagination.  Disorganized yet fascinating.  I love that he's a lefty! 

 Nick's sculpture toothpicks and marshmallows display his increasing appetite and new found fondness for chopsticks.
This is all that's left of Nick's structure.  It was tasty.

Friday, July 13, 2012

I'd like a side of fries with that tonsilloadenoidectomy.

We reported to St. Vincent NE at 9 a.m. this morning with a nervous but excited 7 year old.  We had tried to play up the tonsil and adenoid removal as a surgery where you sleep and have a sore throat but then get all the ice cream and popsicles you want, as well as presents if you're brave.  I think he didn't hear the sore throat part because he's been looking forward to this for a while now.  In an effort to prepare him a bit more realistically, I tried emphasizing that it was a really really bad sore throat that made swallowing really hard.  The doctor also explained how he probably wouldn't want to eat, but the more cold stuff he ate, the better he'd feel.  I think Blake still only heard the words "popsicles" and "presents".

He loved wearing his scrubs.  This was as fun as Halloween!

The doctor and nurses were great.  They hauled him away a little after 10 and Jason and I waited in his room until he came back.  The hardest part of waiting was listening to other kids come back to their rooms following surgery. I wish we'd had soundproof rooms since there was a constant sound of crying and screaming from various other children.

It was only about 20 minutes before the doctor came back and said he was done and there were no complications.  The tonsils and adenoids were large but not alarmingly big.  And then he apologized for the hellish week we were about to have since he would have a horrific sore throat for at least a week.  For 2 weeks he is to limit his physical activity: No running, no wind instruments, no swimming.  NO SWIMMING!  That will be the hardest part for Blake, who's become quite the little fish.

When he came back to us a little while later, he was tearful from his throat pain and disoriented from the anesthesia.  He had been given pain meds in his IV and so it wasn't long before he calmed.  And only minutes after that was asking for popsicles.  The nurses were thrilled when he wanted one and a bit surprised when he asked for a second.  Five popsicles and two cups of ice chips later, they were amazed.  Even though he had no diet limitations other than no "sharp" foods like potato chips, they didn't want the popsicles to upset his stomach since he'd had anesthesia.  They asked him to take a break when he asked for his 6th.  They said he also may have set some sort of record.

We stayed at the hospital for 2 more hours to be monitored.  Blake said his throat didn't hurt that bad and spent the time watching tv and playing his ds.

When it was time to go home, the nurse asked him if he wanted to walk, take a wagon, or a wheelchair.  Blake was thrilled to go in a wheelchair and asked if he could wheel it himself.  It was a slow process but he rolled himself all the way to the car. 

When the doctor had mentioned to us the absence of food restrictions, he literally said, "If Blake wants to have a hamburger on his way home from here, that's fine.  Of course we all laughed knowing that no child in his right mind would want such a thing.  So you can imagine our surprise when Paula, who along with my mom were watching Nick and Alexis, offered to grab McDonald's for me and Blake asked for a nugget Happy Meal.  He ate the whole darn thing and then finished off my lunch. 

We were a little worried that his lunch  But it didn't.  For the rest of the day it was just more popsicles and some gifts.  He is doing amazingly well.  We realize that this may be the calm before the storm and that it's going to be a tough week.  But we're proud of our little trooper.  Must be because he's part pirate.
Blake and his big brother.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I see a theme, matey.

There seems to be a theme with my children.  It all started with these two and the old white burp rags that quickly became Nick's beloved blankets.  They made the perfect hat.

And it wasn't long until Blake discovered pirates.  He started off with just a few basics...hats mostly.

 Just a hat or two.  And then we added a hook.  Maybe a few hooks.

Hats and hooks and patches and the whole stinkin' costume.  Argh.

Even on days when it wasn't appropriate to wear it, he snuck in a pirate detail or two.  Such as his first trip to ever meet his little sister in the newborn ICU.  Notice the red bandanna?

When his sister eventually arrived home, there suddenly was a new matey to don the beloved blanket bandanna.  She didn't stand a chance really.

Is it really any surprise really that even our Christmas cards have occasionally displayed a few of our crew in their pirate wear?

It didn't happen often, but you never knew when Alexis was going to suddenly be displaying an accoutrement or two.

Blake's love of pirates has tapered off just a bit. But I think that Lexi's is just beginning. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

A month in pictures.

It's been a whirlwind of a summer so far, and it's been fun.  Really fun.  We've gone almost nonstop for over a month, and so here it is, in a nutshell.

We started with a trip to Elkhart.  We knew we wouldn't see the grandparents for about a month and wanted to fit in some good quality time up there.


Marley, Layla, and Blakey Potter

I fit in the Sunburst 10K while I was there.  It was great!  Awesome cool temps and the finish line was the 50-yard line at the Notre Dame football stadium.
We returned home, did laundry, repacked, and headed to a friend's cabin in Tennessee.  The cabin was fantastic.  We had plenty of room, there was a pool, and it was right on Douglas Lake.  And we always have a good time with our friends!

Alexis with her friends

Alexis loooooves the water!  And her Daddy.

We fit in a trip to Gatlinburg.  My only must: stopping by Cooter's.  Ahhh, the memories.  Bo Duke was, after all, my first love.

Jason and the guys.  They always have so much fun together.  We've done many vacations with these guys over the years and it's so nice finding families with whom you are compatible on vacations.

Blake and Nick on Scott's boat.

After a great week of boating and the General Lee, we headed home.  We were able to relax a bit and the boys attended Vacation Bible School.  Alexis wasn't old enough to attend, but was able to be in the childcare room since I was volunteering.  It was the same room as her Parent's Day Out program, so she felt right at home.  At the end of each day, I'd get her out of class in time to go hear the kids rehearse all the music.  She loved it and is still singing and doing the dances to this day.

The boys got into the dances too.  Even when no one else was dancing.

We finished up VBS, packed once again and headed to Branson, MO.  I hadn't been there before and didn't realize how much it was like Gatlinburg.  But what made it great was that we took this vacation with our family.  Jason's parents rented 2 houses and 16 of us made the trip:  Jason's folks, our 5, Jason's sister and her family of 6, and Jason's brother and his wife and baby boy made the trip from New York.  Only Josh was missing.  Boo.

The village where we stayed was adorable.  They looked like a bunch of dollhouses and were as cute inside as out.

Our houses were right across the street from each other so the older kids could go back and forth as they pleased.  They altered sleeping at each others houses the first several nights.  By the last night, we had about 6 kids in 2 beds.  So fun!

The temps were sweltering.  But we spent 2 days as Silver Dollar City which offered ample opportunity to cool off.  Let's hear it for water sprayers, sprinklers, and water rides!

Blake and Caylee.  Inseparable.

Did I mention it was hot?  Blake and Nick both rode their first roller coasters, but Nick sat out for a lot.  He was uncertain and a bit anxious.  His mother's son.
Although I did manage to fit in a refreshing log ride.  Sans Nick.  :(

5 crazy cousins.

When we weren't at Silver Dollar City, we were lounging poolside.  Lovely.
And when we returned from Branson, our dear friends had already arrived from Florida.  We drive to visit the Gera's almost every New Year's and they make the pilgrimage to Indiana most summers.
I didn't think it could get hotter than it had been in Branson.  I was wrong.  It was in the 100's all week and it got so hot that the reservoir was too warm to be refreshing.  Not that it stopped the kids from tubing and a host of other water activities.

Alexis fell in love with Trisha all over again.  Trisha would dance with her, Ring Posey with her, sing, read, play with her.  And now Alexis points out any young girl with blonde hair, hoping it's her Trisha.  I may have to fly Trisha back here.


 And so now, all is quiet at our house.  No more vacations for a while.  Instead, Blake gets his tonsils and adenoids taken out on Thursday.  The popsicles are purchased.  Prayers appreciated!